When Mayor Villaraigosa introduced the opening of the Case Management Office in July, he hailed it as the long-sought panacea for the delays and frustration that define the project approval process in Los Angeles (the office brings together staff from different departments to streamline the development permitting process). Yesterday, at a press conference welcoming Farmers Insurance to its new Warner Center facility, the mayor used the opportunity to celebrate the Case Management team's first success. Wouldn't you know it--the office's first born is a parking garage. The Daily News reports that the expedited approval process for a four-level parking garage at the insurance company's new facility was the kicker in a bid to bring 1,300 Farmers employees from Simi Valley to Warner Center.
Farmers signed a ten-year lease to occupy eight floors at their new facility. According to an earlier LADN article, Farmers renovated 217,000 square feet of the building, adding break areas on each floor, an Internet café, a 2,700 square foot gym, and, of course, the parking garage.
Meanwhile, Farmers's Warner Center neighbor, the Westfield Village at Topanga project, is slated to be the first big beneficiary of the Case Management Office's streamlining skills. Building and Safety General Manager Bud Ovrom says in the LADN article: "It will probably be the first big one. It will be a great test for it because it's a complicated project..." The Case Management Office, which opened in July, has about 15 employees from Planning, Building and Safety, the Bureau of Engineering, LADOT, and DWP. Image via Daily News
· Villaraigosa unveils sleeker building permit process [Daily News]